Friday the 13th is one of those days that practically constitutes itself as a pop-up holiday. While I feel no connection to the day alone (besides the movie with my favorite Jason Voorhees), it brings up the topic of superstitions that many people believe in. To me, it’s just another day to binge-watch the titular movie, but to some it’s something to be feared. It got me thinking out the superstitions that I’ve bought into over the years, and so here they are.
Knock On Wood
This one I find kind of pointless in practice, but my paranoid mind instills in me the thought of “what if I don’t knock and something bad happens that I could’ve prevented by knocking?” It’s weird. It only takes two seconds to do and is relatively harmless, so I don’t worry about this one very much.
Salt Over Shoulder
Okay, so this one I only knew about from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, which was one of my favorite shows as a kid. In the episode Dumb Luck, Billy spills the salt and Grim warns him to toss salt over his shoulder unless he wanted bad luck. Billy, being an idiot, tosses pepper, thinking it’s the same thing. Some bad luck snail crawls into his ear which then programs him to have bad luck, and hijinks ensue. While I never thought an evil snail was going to crawl over my shoulder, eventually my belief morphed to where there was some kind of demon or evil spirit that would follow me. I honestly don’t know. While I love salt, I use salt grinders now, so usually it never spills.
Opening Umbrellas Inside is Bad Luck
This one I buy-into. Besides the act being rude—especially if the umbrella had been used and is covered in water— I don’t understand why anyone would want to open an umbrella inside. Theoretically the myth is that “bad luck could rain upon you” if you open an umbrella inside. Get it? See the joke? It’s more like a PSA not to be a weirdo. Umbrellas are for protecting you from the elements, whether it be from rain, sleet, sun, or maybe even snow. Unless your sprinklers are going off needlessly, why open it? I watch my little sister run around with her umbrella open inside and it baffles me.
Rabbit’s Foot is Good Luck
While I wouldn’t buy another rabbit’s foot, I bought one way back when I was younger from one of the Native American reserves we would visit when in Arizona. I can’t remember the real reason I bought it back then. Probably because it was pink is my guess. I was told it was good luck, and like my typically paranoid child brain decided I needed it. For years it sat in my bedroom drawer untouched until I got a lanyard for my car keys because that’s what everyone at my school did when they got their car keys. Of course, I needed to deck it out, so I went to the drawer and grabbed whatever interesting keychains I had. The rabbit’s foot makes quite the color contrast with the Elsa and Anna keychain my “sister” gave me. (She was a pretty much a baby, so it wasn’t exactly her choosing.) I don’t really believe in this one very much after I got in my car accident. However, I might’ve had my other set of keys that day. I can’t really remember.
Other Good Luck Charms
I’m superstitious, yes, and a bit oddly spiritual. I always wear my necklace with charms on it wherever I go, unless there’s a risk of losing it or it not being allowed. I never wear it to the pool or the beach, considering if it falls off it could either get stuck in a filter or get lost in the sand. The only other times I wasn’t allowed to wear it was during gym class and during my job at the movie theater. To be fair, I could wear it underneath my shirt at my job, but I usually never wanted to risk it around the mountains of popcorn.
My necklace only has two charms on it, one from each of my parents. My mom gave me a Saint Christopher charm for travelers, and my dad gave me a celtic dagger-looking charm for protection. Both are sterling silver, which means they’re good for both long lasting purposes and even more superstitious purposes as well.
The only time bad things have happened to me has been when I don’t have my necklace on. Yes, I know, I sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist or something, but it’s a fact. Every time I have injured my knee, I wasn’t wearing my necklace. The first field day and first injury of my knee, no necklace. The second was at a surprise birthday party for my friend I planned, no necklace because of fear it could fall in bonfire. The third knee injury walking in gym class, no necklace. Car accident going to work, no necklace.
Bad Luck Comes in 3’s
This is one I strongly believe in. Or at least, it happens enough that I don’t question it. It seems every once in awhile there’s enough bad events that happen all at once that never seem to let up. In my childhood home, we had a large glass window above our door that carried on to the second floor of the house. Because of this, birds would often fly into it and wind up dead on our doorstep. There were three large black birds that died from this within a few days. Another group of 3 on the doorstep were three snakes writhing around. I quickly left to go use the garage to get inside because I wasn’t going to get in the middle of that.
One of the strongest cases that have happened to me was when I dislocated my kneecap in 10th grade. It began with the actual dislocation of my kneecap, was followed by getting a stomach virus and then a sinus infection. I couldn’t get a break when I was trying to hobble around to toilets to throw up when I couldn’t bend my leg. It was a hard month.
This past week I had to go to urgent care for what they believe was potentially a kidney stone. They gave me medication to treat it as a really bad infection along with two shots of antibiotics and steroids. A couple days later I had the pain again, but lesser and shorter than before. That day, my mom went in for an already-planned minor surgery where after the fact she wound up passing out. While I was explaining all of this to my dad, he suddenly got sharp pain in his side while driving. Everyone is fine, thankfully, but it’s been a weird week.
I’m always going to be irrationally paranoid with these things no matter how much I logically know they probably have no affect on the future. After all, that’s what the definition of superstition means, anyways. According to Merriam-Webster, there are three very similar veins to define superstition:
1 a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation
b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
2 : a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary
Now that that’s settled, I think I’m going to go look at pictures of black cats I want to adopt because they’re innocent, and leave poor kitties out of the superstitious hate.